Ports of Call

Jack Vance, Author Tor Books $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-85801-8
Classic space opera is alive and kicking in this latest interstellar spree from Vance (Night Lamp), who turns 82 this year. In the far future, young Myron Tany seems destined to be a misty-eyed dreamer, pining away for interstellar intrigue, until his rich and eccentric great-aunt, Dame Hester, gains ownership of the space yacht Glodwyn and pushes Myron into the captain's chair. The stresses of family relationships prove too difficult, however, and Hester soon kicks Myron out on his own, forcing him to sign on as a majordomo for the cargo ship Glicca. As one of a hearty and fearless crew, Myron begins the education that makes him a sailor of the spaceways, learning how to placate difficult passengers, romance women of exotic worlds and make it back aboard ship with his purse intact. While his future is unclear at the novel's end, Myron has grown into a confident and capable fellow, if not exactly a swashbuckler. Readers who demand a complicated, hard-science milieu might find Vance's narrative occasionally too chauvinistic, or too simple, or just too plain silly, but this jaunty, politically incorrect tale provides first-rate escapist entertainment. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
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Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-312-86474-3
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